Huzzah Cruising the Northwest

12 April 2016 | Pacific Ocean
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10 April 2016 | Pacific Ocean
09 April 2016 | Pacific Ocean
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07 April 2016 | Pacific Ocean
06 April 2016 | Pacific Ocean
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31 March 2016 | Pacific Ocean
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25 March 2016

Good deeds done dirt cheap!

17 July 2018 | Squirrel Cove, BC
Cruisers’ tend to look out for one another when cruising in remote locations. The more remote you go, the more caring boaters seem to be. I believe it’s because most discourteous boater types just don’t travel this far. You know the type; the skipper that doesn’t even know basic navigation rules so they just pretend they don’t see you as they cut right in front of right-of-way vessels. They’re just too important or busy to travel hundreds’ of miles to reach Desolation Sound in BC Canada. If they could make it, that is. And that’s good, because they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) help anyway. And that’s exactly why we come here!

So when you see that help is needed - you offer. It’s that simple. When Jody & I saw a tender (a larger version of a dinghy in yachtie speak) left stranded in a small pool of water that surrounded the gas dock outside Squirrel Cove, we took notice. With the tide still going out and the surrounding beach dry, we knew the best efforts of two people digging away with clam shovels was futile. After snapping the picture above from the nearby commercial wharf, we proceeded down a dangerously steep ramp to our dinghy. Once aboard, we hailed to them that we would be happy to give them a ride to their boat until the tide came in – and back, of course. And that’s how we came to know John West and his granddaughter Maya from the motor yacht Falcon, from Fox Island, WA. How ironic to help neighbors 300 miles from home! Ah, just another day of cruising.

My title is a word play on that famous AC/DC song we all know; “Dirty deeds done dirt cheap”.

Life is good aboard Huzzah!

Thar she blows!

12 July 2018
Our trip north through the San Juan and Gulf Islands has been uncharacteristically cold for July. The winds have been light as well, absent the thermal sea breeze that normally accompanies warm weather. After all the warm weather in June, I guess that’s to be expected.

That all changed yesterday! With a new high pressure system over the mid-Vancouver Island, the winds piped up big time. That also means big waves in the wide-open passages like the Strait of Georgia. Yesterday morning at 4 am we were awoken by the sounds of the wind howling thru our rigging while moored in Schooner Cove marina. With the forecast predicting even more wind in the coming days, we chose to make a run for it – bashing NW through the Strait under power.

With only an occasional wave breaking over the bow, we managed fairly well. Sure, the boat is covered in salt spray and the windows are almost opaque, but no sea water on decks. And while it was only blowing 15 knots, the fetch turns even that modest wind into 2-3 foot waves. Then it happened! Right in front of Huzzah a HUGH whale broached the surface and did a stunning tail-slap. So close was the Humpback, I had to stop the engine rather than grab my phone to snap a pic. A few minutes later we saw the Cow and Calf 100 meters astern, out of camera phone range. Oh well. After eleven hours of motoring (~80nm) we’re now anchored in Desolation Sound’s Squirrel Cove. And we’ll likely be here for days!

The title, which was loosely meant to be a double entendre, reflects the wind, waves, and whale spray sightings. Not a bad day for a retired couple cruising in their boat.

Life is good aboard Huzzah.

We’re on a boat!

09 July 2018
After ten months away from cruising, Jody & I are aboard Huzzah again. Once the bottom painting and launching were complete, we began the arduous task of getting everything in place for our annual cruise north. Ten days later we were (mostly) ready to go. And while that sounds like a long time, it's not to bad considering we'll be aboard for two months. I tend to the equipment and systems, while Jody plans and prepares the food and provisions. She does a lot of time-consuming pre-packaging and pre-freezing of our favorite foods, something we are always thankful for.

While we had originally planned to travel 1,800 miles to Alaska and back this year, our new reality has us doing a modest 700 mile round trip with a focus on short days and plenty of stops at marinas for our needed exercise. Our yacht club membership pays dividends here as most of our stops in the San Juan and Gulf Islands are free!

After departing Gig Harbor we spent our first night in Port Ludlow, which positioned us well to make an easy crossing of the Straits of Jun de Fuca the following day. It was an exceptionally clam day and we made good time allowing us to set our hook in Roche Harbor well before happy hour. The harbor was packed for the Fourth of July fireworks show, so I didn't sleep so well that night. Afterwards, we continued north to Prevost Hbr. for the night, allowing us a wonderful 4 mile hike on Stuart Island the following morning. We then cleared customs into Canada's Gulf Islands. After stopping at the farmers market at Ganges Hbr. for some fresh greens, we finally had our first epic sail north in a fresh southerly with the Code Screecher flying. I think Jody's smile from the helm says it all.

Cheers from Huzzah!

Yard Work

06 July 2018
To me, doing yard work is like going to the gym. It’s an awful lot of work for the few fleeting moments of positive feeling you get from doing it! But unlike going to the gym, the yard work I’m talking about doesn’t improve your health one iota. In fact, I wear protective eye wear, clothing and a respirator to minimize the health risks associated from doing it. And it’s much worse than pulling weeds, spraying Roundup or spreading beauty bark!
I’m talking about the boaters’ ritual of hauling our boats out of the water every few years for a bottom job. For those that have never seen it, a huge machine slips two straps under Huzzah and plucks her modest 28,000 pounds from the sea and deposits her on land. Then a guy pressure washers the sea slime and critters from her bottom before she’s relocated to a large sheet of black plastic 20’ wide and 60’ long. She sits on her keel with 8-10 metal stands positioned around her to ensure she doesn’t fall over while I sand the underwater surfaces and re-paint them with $300 a gallon copper paint. Everything about copper paint is toxic, and the Department of Ecology is trying to ban it. But for now however, it’s the only thing that works. So we all don our protective gear and a use special sander with vacuums to collect as much copper dust as possible. The real yachtie types with money hire this work out, of course. But for us DIY’ers, we do it because we can and we save lots of $$$. But we hate it!
So that’s what I did for three weeks this past June. The pictures show the net result, offer a glimpse into the dark side of boat ownership for the average boater.

Trapped in Roscoe Bay

25 August 2017 | Roscoe Bay
One of the special things about Desolation Sound is its geographical diversity. As equally impressive as the amazing sights we've seen in Mexico and French Polynesia, this is the cold water version of Paradise in our opinion. In the past few days we've anchored in deep water next to sheer wall cliffs, kayaked through tidal rapids into huge salt-water lagoons and swam in clean, clear lakes just a few hundred yards from shore's edge.
Below is Jody swimming in Unwin Lake at Tenedos Bay.
For the next 22 hours, Huzzah is trapped at anchor here in Roscoe Bay, as the once passable entrance is now an almost dry, rock-strewn land bridge. This is my first time here, and despite the rain I love the adventure of it all. Apparently others' do as well, as the dozen or so boats anchored here seem to change frequently at high tide. For deep draft sailboats like us, that's at least a 11' high tide. And Roscoe Bay has its own lake a short walk from the harbors end, Black Lake. Today it's raining so we'll have to check out the swimming here on another trip.
Cheers from Huzzah!

Adventures Ashore

24 August 2017 | Tenedos Bay, Desolation Sound
Cruising is about exploration and adventure as much, if not more, than boating. Don’t get me wrong, I love to sail. But we end up doing very little sailing while cruising in the PNW due to the narrow channels and seasonal wind patterns. And while long ocean passages are, well boring… motoring for hours on end through the inland passages here can be very stressful due to the plethora of logs, navigation hazards and inexperienced boaters. So the opportunity to get ashore and discover something new or challenging is something we cherish.
While in Tenedos Bay, Professor Harry aboard Sea Eagle pointed up to a Canadian flag atop a high cliff above our anchorage and said some old guys climbed up and put it there. I thought if they could do it so could we – right? Jody was unconvinced at first, but when fellow cruisers Bren, Clay, John & Kim wanted to go – we were in.
The climb wasn’t easy, but no challenge worth doing ever is.
Fortunately, some yachties’ have placed ropes in key places to make it less dangerous. And what a view!

Solar Anniversary Rendezvous

21 August 2017 | Tenedos Bay, BC
Cruising is always more fun when you can share, learn and enjoy the experience with friends. So Jody & I feel lucky that we've been able to connect with long time friends Harry & Sandie aboard their motor yacht Sea Eagle over the past week. Harry & I were fierce competitors in the Thistle Class racing dinghy 30 years ago, and he was one of the best sailors in the Tacoma area for decades. He now spends his energy catching fish and harvesting shellfish as he & Sandie cruise the waters between their home port of Gig Harbor and all the popular cruising grounds in Canada and Alaska.
We're also cruising with our friends Bill & Debbie on Anakena whom we met during our South Pacific cruise. So it was special for us to be here in Desolation Sound, celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary with old and new friends. Eating fresh clams and drinking champagne in these absolutely gorgeous surroundings was every bit as special as Bora Bora was last year. We share meal preparation, happy hours and we each host dinner on a rotating basis.

Last evening, Harry invited nearby boats in our anchorage for happy hour onshore at a place known as Harry's rock. You know you're there when you see a rusty metal sculpture of a large Dungeness crab with Harry's name on it! Harry can tell you how it got there. Anyway, fourteen folks enjoyed fellowship, sea stories and fresh cooked clams. You meet some of the nicest people on boats!
Today, we gathered aboard our mother ship, Sea Eagle, and gazed skyward to observe the solar eclipse from here in Canada. At 50° north latitude, it was only a partial eclipse, but we and everybody else anchored in Tenedos Bay was on their decks enjoying the event.

Don't worry Mom, Jody brought special glasses, and we also took sun sights from the various sextants that surfaced for the occasion.
Below are the three amigos; Bill, Harry & Gerry.

What's next is unknown. We have no specific cruising plans, and we're dam well sticking to them!
Cheers from Huzzah!

North to Desolation

20 August 2017 | Tenedos Bay, BC
In early August, providence finally released us from our encumbered circumstances at home, allowing us to go cruising again. We did our usual run to Costco and the grocery store, cleared out our home refrigerator and began the process of loading Huzzah. I always think this step takes a couple hours, but it probably takes 3 - 4 times that long - much longer than I ever remember or plan for. Just locating all our cruising gear unique to the Salish Sea (like crab traps, stern-tie ropes, clam shovel, wool blankets, etc.) took forever. As it turned out, I failed at this and left both sets of my freshly cleaned foul weather gear at home! Oh well, I haven't seen any rain since returning from Hawaii anyway. How ironic is that?
After a full day of loading Huzzah at the Jerisch public dock in GH, we finally departed under a formidable layer of smoke that limited our visibility to just a mile or so as we motored in flat calm water. As veteran NW cruisers, we know a thing or two about fickle summer winds, and since there's no fuel dock in Gig Harbor, our first stop was Des Moines Marina. From there, we motored north, spending our first night in Blakeley Harbor, before arriving the following day at our favorite crabbing hole at Garrison/Westcott Bay on San Juan Island.

After catching our limit for two consecutive days, we'd had enough crab and moved on. By this time the Westerly onshore winds had returned to push the forest fire smoke inland, a welcome respite for Jody. Our biggest surprise was how cold the westerly winds coming off the ocean were! While the radio talked of record setting high temperatures, we were bundled in fleece as we traveled the sound. Fortunately, once we move north of the San Juan Islands, things did warm up considerably. After Garrison Bay, we spent a couple nights in Roche Harbor which afforded us comfy showers and Gerry an invigorating bike ride around the Island.
Eventually, we connected up with friends cruising on a parallel schedule, while regrettably missing others that were on their way home already. Prevost Harbor on Stuart Is. has always been a favorite stop for us, and this year we met up with Bill & Debbie there and did the 4 mile hike to the Turn Point lighthouse. The following morning we departed for Sidney BC to clear customs into Canada. We were dreading the fact that we had more alcohol aboard than planned (after only spending 5 days of our month trip in the US), but were pleasantly surprised when Canadian officials said no problem! While in route to Sidney, Gerry found a log off Forest Island that damaged the speed sensor as it rolled along the bottom of Huzzah. I was so appalled that I severely reprimanded myself with lots of sailor language. Hopefully that's all the damage, but a dive will be needed to confirm that. From there we visited the beautiful Butchart Gardens on Tod Inlet, then Ganges, Nanaimo and finally arriving in Desolation Sound. The trip has not been as smooth as expected due to sporadic displays of poor judgment by the captain which has resulted in a punctured inflatable dinghy and a damaged sail. Even this cannot diminish the sheer beauty and solitude of this area, or the fellowship with friends, eh!
Cheers from Huzzah

Cruising Life in Puget Sound

29 July 2017
Since arriving back from Hawaii on June 23nd, life has quickly returned to the previous normal. Medical appointments, car maintenance and appliance repairs consume our days, albeit in slow motion. Schedule, wait, another delay, and then repeat. If people think boat repairs are expensive, have Sears fix your refrigerator! It took two weeks to fix ours with a $120 part that took 20 minutes to install at a cost of $680!
To me, it felt like our cruising days were over! I could see Huzzah at anchor in the Harbor from our deck, but we had so many things keeping us from setting sail. The blessing this time afforded us however, was the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends. We spent a weekend doing some crabbing in the skiff with Valerie's family, and Rose & her family were able to join us aboard Huzzah for a night in Quartermaster Harbor for Independence Day fireworks. A couple of weeks later Jody spent a week in Portland assisting Rose while she was recovering from hip surgery.
We finally broke free of our domestic trappings in late July with a short cruise to the South Sound with grandson Milo. With stops in Filucy Bay, McMicken Island, Jerrel Cove and Olympia, we had a great time in spite of our failure to catch many crab. Milo is a good dinghy driver, so we did quite a few "Harbor Burns" as we call them, just motoring around.
Life is good aboard Huzzah again!

Landfall - Passage Day 16

22 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
Our final day at sea was as spirited and challenging as any we've experienced during our cruise. Beam reaching in 25 knot winds and 10' seas with beautiful sunshine seemed entirely fitting for our final leg. Not even a huge wave that sent green water down the companion way hatch into the cabin could dampen our spirits. So, with a double reef in the mainsail, and a sliver of the genoa flying, we came charging into the Straits of Jaun de Fuca in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 21st - after 16 days and 16 ½ hours of passage! Hip Hip Huzzah!

Welcomed Change - Passage days 14 & 15

20 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
Yesterday greeted us with light overcast skies that soon burned off into beautiful sunshine. The gray sea became blue again and life was good! Life is fairly simple out here. So we put our fishing lines in the water and watched the miles disappear behind us. We finished the day with some awesome Mahi tacos, complements to Scott! Today is shaping up to be a repeat of yesterday. It seems ironic to me that the weather's improving as we approach the Washington coast, but in fact, we're just lucky to be sailing on the edge of a 1025mb high pressure system. Wind and sun is hard to beat! We continue to make good time in these favorable conditions. After almost 13 days on starboard tack (wind blowing the right side of boat) we're now on port. The seas are unusually small, and we have 10 - 14 knots of wind on the beam. We've covered over 300 miles in the last 48 hours, and we are now ~260 miles from making landfall at Cape Flattery. Sailing has been so easy lately, the only navigation I've done is to alter course this morning to avoid sailing over a shallow (33' deep) area of foul bottom called the Cobb Seamount. Our expected arrival to Gig Harbor is Friday afternoon - but anything can happen, so it's just an estimate at this point. Life is good aboard Huzzah!

In the Loop - Passage days 12 & 13

18 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
Life aboard now feels like an endless a loop. We stand watch for 12 hours (2 shifts each day), sleep for ~8, then cook/clean and attend to our daily constitutional's & personal hygiene for the remaining 4 hours! Repeat, and then repeat again. After six days of overcast, rain and fog, our senses can no longer differentiate between the days. Living in wet rain gear for 6 days is something that defies explanation. Is that baby power I smell? Hum. Even the Sunbrella fabric protecting our cockpit has conceded to the relentless deluge of rain and now drips profusely in multiple spots. Not a dry spot to be had anywhere in the cockpit. And since we sprung a leak in the hydronic diesel furnace while beating to Hawaii last year, it's inoperable. But we're fighting back with daily doses of 5,000 IU's of vitamin D so we don't all get SAD, and turn the boat south. Not everything is gloomy however. We have been sailing strong and recently accomplish some significant passage milestones. We've banked a couple 170+ mile days this weekend, and we just completed our 2,000th mile sailing since departing Kauai. That makes it about 570 nm's to reach Cape Flattery. Sailors use all kinds of jargon to describe making good time, the one we use most often use is; �"we're hauling the mail�". To be sure, we are quite happy to be sailing the rhumbline home at 7 knots! As some of you may know, I post these updates over an Iridium satellite phone in a text only format that is about ½ the speed of your 1995 AOL dial up modem. It works well for our weather routing program and texting via our phones. But I cannot see my blog page or any comments you post on it or to Jody's FB page. Sorry! So don't stop typing, as I do look forward to connecting with you all again and answering any questions you might have when I get cell reception in 4 or 5 days. Cheers from Huzzah!

Water Torture - Passage days 10 & 11

16 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
After a rainy day and light wind sailing, we capped yesterday (June 10th)) off with Mahi for dinner before starting up the D-Sail and motoring through the windless night. We knew it was the calm before the next low, so we didn't mind. Now, less than 900 miles from the Straits of Jaun de Fuca, we're sailing fast again at 8.8 knots with 25 kts of wind on the beam. We've done this so many times, and it's my favorite point of sail. I'm always in awe of the power of the wind and the seas, and how Huzzah seems to effortlessly handle these conditions. Today however, we're in the North Pacific being pummeled by large waves and intense rain. Our rain gear is soaked thru, our hands are cold, our gloves soaked to the point of being useless. We can see our breath when we exhale; the cabin is 58 and wet. The cockpit is even worse as the wind blows the rain and sea spray sideways under the dodger and bimini. Okay - enough said. This morning we attached our clear side curtain aft of the dodger which has been a tremendous help. In stark contrast to our world of the past 18 months, this is simply dreadful. We haven't seen the sun in three days, and I quietly wonder if we will again over the remaining week of our trip. So why am I'm sailing Huzzah into this torment of rain and cold you ask? Family; it trumps everything else. Oh how I hope we have one of those special NW summers this year. My Grandson's and I are counting on it! Gerry & Crew of Huzzah

First 200 mile day - Passage days 8 & 9

15 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
I quietly cheered last night while logging our 20:00 hours (8 pm) position. As the off-watch crew was below sleeping, we had set a new milestone for our epic two-year voyage aboard Huzzah by sailing 202 nm's in a 24 hour period! We had previously recorded a handful of times we had covered more than 170 miles in a day, but never the �"double century�" as I call it. After sailing 11,567 miles it finally happened, and it felt good! It's a record for Scott as well, so we did a quick fist-bump at watch change as I slipped below to get my wet rain gear off in route to my bunk for some sleep. Oh, how the little things matter at sea. The weather conditions that created this opportunity were due to a big low pressure system heading East across our path, packing 25 - 35 kt winds. We knew days in advance of this, and were well prepared with everything properly stowed and a thorough check of our sails and rigging completed. We were also fortunate enough to catch the back side of the system and ride it NE for a day, with its wind at our back. With a double-reefed main and a quadruple reef in the genoa set on the whisker pole, we were off faster than a prom queen's dress! With a 10 -12' average wave height, we had plenty of surfing moments and would routinely hit 11 knots, with the occasional 14 kt ride. It's not as much fun as it sounds, however. In the dark of night, with all the sounds of wind and water crashing off the waves and the autopilot swinging the wheels back and forth as the boat slaloms down the waves - it's nerve racking for me. The weather remains cold and wet with interior temperatures in the 58 - 62 range. Lots of �"sideways�" rain blows into the cockpit and we're all wearing fleece, raingear and boots. I had to loan Scott socks so he could get his boots off without help! I think his price to deliver a boat to this area just increased. We doubt the Mahi Mahi are fans of cold water either, but we'll try Tuna. Our box scores to date; Avg speed 6.2kts./148 nm/day, Distanced sailed 25, Distance to Cape Flattery (rhumb line) 1,050, Distance to Gig Harbor =1,200. Cheers from Huzzah.

Counting Buoys & Fish- Passage day 7

12 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
This morning we had a significant milestone (in our little 45' world anyway) to share. We completed 1,000 nautical miles (1,150 statute miles) of our voyage - almost exactly one week after our departure from Kauai. For left-brain thinkers, that's about 6 knots of boat speed we've averaged while sailing as fast as we comfortably can 24/7. That means we're about 1,500 nm's from the Straits of Jaun de Fuca. Of course, we'll sail much further than that to get there. We've been sailing on a starboard tack (wind blowing over right side of boat), close-hauled (sailing into the wind as much as possible) the entire time this trip. We expect our life of healing to the left will change tonight in the wee hours however, when a wind shift will force us to become right healers ;-) Overall, the first week has been good. There were times when our ride was rough and noisy, other times when seasickness symptoms kept people quietly wondering if they would ever go to sea again. But that's all part of the journey. The other part of this passage has been the discovery of fishing buoys littering the ocean! In one day, I personally counted 10 of them, tethered to the ocean floor, ~3,000 feet below. Given our sightings over the last 500 miles, I would guess there must be hundreds of these hard plastic buoys measuring about 3' round out here. One night I heard some Asian language speaking on the VHF radio, so that's likely where they're from. I believe the odds of hitting one are astronomically low, but maybe that's because that's what I chose to believe. Life is like that. Besides counting miles, we've been doing some fishing. A few moments ago, we caught our second Mahi Mahi/Dorado in 3 days. This one is a nice ~15 pounder to practice our filleting skills on. Scott seems to have the perfect touch, and is teaching Shawntel how to fillet the skin off. Thanks to Fred & Ken for the use of your fillet knife and pole. Again, one of the cheap lures we purchased at the Lihue K mart was our secret weapon. Yum, fish for dinner again! We've been blessed today with sun, calm seas and moderate wind. Life is good aboard Huzzah!

Go East - Passage day 6

10 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
We begin our sixth day at sea with light winds and unusually calm seas. The significant change has been the wind direction has changed to the SE, allowing us sail NE towards our destination. Only problem is that we're sailing towards a big high pressure system. And since high pressure normally means less wind, we would ordinarily sail around it, but this is just too big. So later today, we expect even lower wind velocities than now. Our current position puts us roughly about 700 miles due North of Hawaii, and 1700 miles from the Straits of Jaun de Fuca. All is well aboard and with the calm seas, everyone is feeling better and we're eating well. Yesterday evening, our newest crew Shawntel caught a 9 pound Dorado (aka Mahi Mahi) using a lure she bought at K mart. How about that! Cheers from Huzzah!

Fade to Gray - Passage day 5

09 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
Happy Friday everyone! As we begin our fifth day at sea, it's starting to feel like home. Although we're only 31 degrees north latitude, the sky is overcast gray, the temperature has dropped to the high 60's, and we haven't seen the sun for almost 2 days! The fleece is out, and we're wearing Gortex rain jackets and shoes after two years of storage. The refrigerator and freezer units are happy, but nobody else is. And none of this is to Scott's (aka captain casual) liking. Although he never complains, after living in Florida and teaching advanced sailing courses out of La Paz all last winter, you know he's not comfortable. He didn't wear shoes on his watch last night, but commented that he would be digging them out of his duffel today. The winds have abated, and for the first time, we're sailing under full mainsail & Genoa. The wind direction and velocity varied all night as we skirt a high pressure (low wind) system to our west, so lots of energy is being expended to keep the boat moving through the fickle conditions. Our pace continues to be good, averaging almost 150 miles per day, with 600 miles in the bank, and about 1,800 to go. Cheers from Huzzah

Judo Chops - Passage days 3 & 4

08 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
As we enter our fourth day of this passage, the conditions thus far have been remarkably consistent. The wind is still blowing from the north-northeast at a steady 18 to 23 knots apparent, and the seas have been from 3 to 7 feet. The wind chop has kept the decks and dodger soaked the entire time, but we never leave the cockpit anyway. Of course, a few large rogue waves have hurled sea water into the cockpit, but that's been the exception. Huzzah loves the moderate winds and has piled on 500 miles beating (sailing as close into the wind as possible) her way North. With a single reef in the mainsail to protect the sail repair we did in Hawaii, and a small reef in the genoa, she's moving between 6 and 7+ knots 24/7. Our quandary has been whether to sail as close-hauled as possible and suffer the constant pounding the waves extract on the boat, or to steer a course 10 - 15 lower, and add miles to our journey. For now, we're sailing as close to the wind and waves as we can tolerate, watching Huzzah judo chop the waves like a crazed Ninja warrior!

The Drumbeat - Passage days 1&2

07 June 2017 | Passage to Pacific Northwest
We began our passage from Nawiliwili, Kauai to Gig Harbor last Monday morning, June 5th under lumpy seas, moderately high winds and rain squalls. Not ideal conditions for our first day at sea, but that's the weather we had been experiencing in Kauai for several days, with no change forecasted - so we went. Our first six hours were definitely not to the crews liking as we clawed our way into a brisk headwind through unorganized, lumpy, seas under reefed sails. Once we cleared the island, however, the rain clouds dissipated, and we've had great weather and calm seas since.
Now, as we begin day three, we're finally beginning to get into our rhythm. We've put the saltine crackers and peanut butter away for now, and some crew even slept in their cabins last night. It usually takes few days for us to find our sea legs anyway, so it's all expected. Huzzah is sailing well, pointing into the wind and seas the best she can. In fact, we identified then sailed past a new 40' aluminum ocean-going sloop from the UK yesterday. After a quick chat on the radio, we learned he departed Honolulu last Sunday and is bound for Ketchikan, AK. We were curious to see the boat after identifying him on AIS, and couldn't believe how poorly his sails were trimmed when we approached. He commented that we were sailing much faster than he (almost 2 knots), but there was no appropriate response I could think other to bid him fair sailing. This was the first time I've seen another sailboat at sea!
Okay, so where are we? Click on the map section of the blog page to see our current position, but we're about 300 nm's northwest of Kauai after two full days of sailing. We expect one more day or so of wind before we run out of the trusty "Trade winds" we've been sailing in. I'm downloading the latest wind map on the Iridium Sat phone now, so I'll know more in my next update.
Aloha from Huzzah!

Whether the weather is right?

05 June 2017
Or not, is really the question on our minds recently. So much weather data is available these days, we pour over it multiple times each day, fretting over details we didn't even know existed 10 years ago. Using information from our Predict Wind program on our satellite phone as well as internet sources, there's plenty to ponder! Additionally, Scott is using the Expedition navigation program, which uses the same GFS forecast models, but gives slightly different results for some reason.

Bottom line, we've decided it's time to go! Gerry, Scott (aka Captain casual) & Shawntel will be departing Nawiliwili tomorrow morning. Our friends Bill, Greg & Tom on Anakena will be joining us on the passage. Hopefully we'll have fair winds, but we have enough fuel to motor about 1,200 nm's if the wind decides not to cooperate. The rhumbline distance is about 2,400 nm's, but our planned route is closer to 2,775 nm.
Wish us luck.
Vessel Name: Huzzah
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 45.2 built in '99 for the BVI Charter fleet. Purchased in 2011 in Seattle, and began an extensive re-fit.
Hailing Port: Gig Harbor, WA
Crew: Gerry & Jody Gilbert
About: Retired professionals living the dream. Gerry & friends do the ocean passages, wife Jody & the kids fly in for the cruising. Departed the PNW for Mexico & So. Pacific September 2015, Returned to Gig Harbor July 2017 .
Huzzah \(ˌ)hə-ˈzä\ : an exclamation of joy, applause, appreciation — or shout of acclaim. Huzzah may be categorized with such interjections as hoorah and hooray. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), in the 17th and 18th centuries it was identified as a sailor's cheer or [...]
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